Insurgents seize Latakia

Insurgents seized a strategic town from Syrian government forces and their allies in the western coastal province of Latakia on Friday, a monitoring group and the rebels said, in a rare advance for them in the area. The Syrian government forces had captured Kansaba in February, part of a wider advance in Latakia’s northern countryside at the time, backed by Russian air power. Fighting picked up again in the area after a ceasefire deal later that month brought a temporary lull. The truce has mostly unraveled throughout areas where it took effect in the west of the country. The al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front was among the groups that retook Kansaba, which had previously been an important base for the insurgents. The town overlooks much of the mountainous Jabal Akrad area close to the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The British-based monitoring group said it was part of a wider offensive launched earlier in the week”.

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